Exploring the impact of unfulfilled potential for a highly intelligent but otherwise ordinary, devoted housewife and mother, Baggage Productions presents Myra In Space by Bridgette Burton at fortyfivedownstairs from 7 September 2023.
Using trademark wit and astute social observation, Burton introduces the character of Myra, a middle-aged woman with a repressed childhood dream to be an astronaut.
Myra is inspired by Valentina Tereshkova (the Russian cosmonaut and first woman in space), who appears to her as an imaginary friend and avuncular coach as Myra determines to pursue her dream.
The play delves into the experience of many women of a certain generation who quietly sacrificed their personal desires to raise children and enable their husbands to forge successful careers. What happens when the kids are grown up and the husband retires? What then?
Burton deftly balances comedy and pathos as Myra asks herself these questions, seeks to reconnect with her inner self and navigates family dynamics, guilt, depression and hope.
Kelly Nash (who recently competed on the Network 10 reality TV show Hunted) plays Myra with sensitivity, nuance and delightful comic timing. She is supported by a talented cast led by veteran director Alice Bishop.
The evocative, surreal set design by Silvia Shao creates a liminal space between reality and dreams, while atmospheric lighting designed by Richard Vabre and sound design by Nat Grant complete the picture.
“The concept for Myra in Space arrived at a time where I was contemplating what I had done with my life, whether I was happy with that and what had developed or restricted my dreams,” said writer & producer, Bridgette Burton.
“I felt the intense need to explore what would happen if a woman decided that she wanted to follow her childhood dream. I wanted an older woman to seize some agency at the cost of others. At the expense of their confusion and disarray. I did not want her to apologise.”
Myra in Space is an original, gently feminist work destined to make audiences laugh and cry. Don’t miss it!
Director: Alice Bishop | Featuring: Kelly Nash, Rama Nicholas, Greg Parker, Annie Lumsden, Nicholas Jaquinot | Set & Costume Design: Silvia Shao | Lighting Design: Richard Vabre | Sound Design: Nat Grant | Writer: Bridgette Burton
Myra in Space
fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Season: 8 – 17 September 2023 (preview: 7 September)
For more information, visit: www.baggageproductions.com for details.
Image: Myra in Space – photo by Darren Gill